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The Mars rover Curiosity made headlines in early August when it landed safely and set to work on the red planet. The latest on Mars continues to make headlines.
On Aug. 19, Earth received the first Martian chemical data produced by Curiosity’s ChemCam and its rock-zapping laser.
The data came by radio and took 14 minutes to speed 154 million miles back to earthlings eager to see more.
We marvel at the technical wonders that tell us what is on the next planet out from the sun.
Curiosity explores the state of Mars.
And exhibits ideas that can help with Earth’s problems.
Which technologies aboard the rover Curiosity could be adapted to local needs for environmental sampling and analysis? If we can detect chemicals and their histories on Mars, can we check out pollutants more quickly on Earth?
These questions sprang up on a bright September day at this year’s Next Big Idea Festival that our town holds each year.
A mock-up of Curiosity and the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s ChemCam stood on the well-kept grass beside the laboratory tent.
The Star Wars look of it was enough to ask “what if?”
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